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My Body Dysmorphia

I went out on a limb tonight...I mean, WAY outside my comfort zone. I bought...wait for it... shorts.

It's a difficult thing to come to grips with - when you recognize that you personally struggle deeply with the very thing you publicly and strongly advocate against to tens of thousands of women every day. I have built my career and FXP Fitness around encouraging women to love their bodies as they are - to embrace their imperfections. I coach women to love where they are while making healthy choices to get to where they want to be.

I believe in this message to my core; but, real talk...I am facing the reality of the disconnect between my message of body empowerment and how I feel about parts of my own body... specifically my thighs. *sigh*

It hit me recently that I've spent my adult life covering my thighs. I take no credit for this newly acknowledged insecurity. My best friend brought it to my attention while talking about summer wardrobes - specifically shorts.

I have refused to wear shorts for - who knows how long - maybe since college? I vaguely remember wearing a pair while pregnant, but I hated them and I can't recall wearing shorts since. I'll wear skirts and dresses, I'll even wear booty shorts to my yoga classes where it's all women; but, shorts in public? Nope. No way. No How. My friend insisted that I have "great legs" and challenged me to get into some shorts.

So, because of one simple conversation and a well-delivered compliment about my thighs, I decided this would be the year... the year that I would wear shorts. And guess what - I did it - I bought shorts tonight and I feel amazing about it.

I went shopping with my friend and colleague, Sue tonight after telling her about my self-imposed ban on shorts. Sue immediately insisted we weren't leaving without a pair of shorts. We tried several stores. I was feeling defeated and wanted to back out, but when Sue is involved there is no way you can give up (THANK YOU , Sue!).

Then, we walked into Aeropostale. With their #FREETOBE message plastered all over the store, I should have known this was the place it would happen. I tried on a total of 6 pairs here and guess what... I liked them all. I was excited, in fact. At $8-10 a pair, I had NO excuse and I knew Sue wasn't going to let me back out now that she knew my secret promise to myself, so I took a deep breath and walked my shorts up to the checkout!

It may not seem like a big deal, but for me - it is huge. I even told the cashier, Brandon (pictured) that this was a big moment for me- that I was buying my first pair of shorts in maybe 15 years? He was super sweet and offered a very warm "Congratulations!" He was even excited to pose for the above photo with me to mark the occasion and was kind enough to give me permission to post it with this blog. (If you're reading this Brandon, you're super cool and you have a very bright future ahead of you!)

So, here I am in a pair of shorts! I can't even believe it. I'm learning to love parts of me that I haven't. I'm determined to love these thighs. They may not be perfect... in fact, they aren't, but they are mine and I'm not going to hide them! I'm going to love their strength and what they do for me every day. I'm going to love every bit of muscle and fat and texture on them because they are MINE and I can't fully love myself if I don't love every inch.

If you've read this far, then here's the good part - this is where I remind myself (and you) that I don't know what demons my friends, colleagues, or strangers on the street are fighting; but, I do know that everyone is battling something even if they seem completely put together- maybe especially if they do. It's my privilege, as a loving member of the human race, to remind everyone I meet that they are important, they are beautiful and they are loved. If I do that enough, someone might just start living life a little fuller and finding empowerment through self-love of the healthiest kind.

#encouragement #Inspiration #lifelessons


©2020 by Kristin Benton.

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